How we assess your application

This page outlines how we assess your application for financial assistance to help you understand the process and any delays that might happen.

It explains:

How we decide what we can help with

We follow the instructions set out in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 and Director General Guidelines.

We consider, among other things, if:

  • you have incurred the expense because of violence that happened in Queensland
  • the expenses you have asked us to help with have/will significantly aid your recovery
  • the expenses are reasonable
  • there is any special assistance or distress payment (primary and related victims only).

Intake and pre-assessment

We receive applications by email, fax or post and process them in the order they arrive.

We will communicate with you as you have instructed on the form.

The time it takes for us to receive your application may vary depending on where, when and how you sent it. It may take many days for an application to arrive by post.

We will send you confirmation that your application has been received.

Once we receive your application, we will:

  • create an electronic file and assign an application number
  • add a reminder alert about any safety information you included on the form
  • check that the application is signed and that we have all the pages
  • check if you have asked for any urgent and immediate expenses and included the supporting information required
  • begin gathering any extra information needed to assess your application, such as police reports, court documents and relevant payment information
  • if medical information was not included with the application we will begin gathering this from relevant sources.

Depending on what you have requested, we may need to ask you to clarify some information or provide some extra information.

Urgent and immediate expenses

If included on the form and supported by required documentation, we will consider your urgent and immediate expenses first.

If eligible, you may receive up to $6,000 to help with expenses you identified as urgent and immediate. You will receive an interim notice of decision and statement of reasons explaining what we have agreed to pay for.

Your application will then be queued for the final assessment of your remaining expenses.

Final assessment

Once all the relevant information has been gathered, we will assess your circumstances, including:

  • what has happened
  • the injuries caused by the violence
  • how these injuries have impacted you
  • what you have asked us to help with
  • what you have asked others to help with
  • how helping with the expense will benefit your recovery.

Once we have made our final decision we will send you a notice of decision and statement of reasons. These will tell you what we have agreed to help with and why.

If we are unable to help with some of your expenses we will explain why.

Confirming your identity

We will include a verification of identity form with the notice of decision and statement of reasons. The purpose of this form is to:

  • ensure the right person receives any grant or payment of assistance
  • provide an opportunity for you to tell us about any relevant payments form other sources we may need to consider
  • confirm how you would like to receive payments.

Processing timeframes

We receive a high number of applications every day and we assess them in the order they arrive. We will begin assessing your application when it arrives but the full assessment process can be lengthy.

The time it takes to gather the required information can vary case by case depending on the information included with your application, your individual circumstances and the circumstances of the violence. We may need to source or cross-check information with a number of other agencies such as police, courts and health providers.

Including information about your injuries and expenses with your application can reduce the assessment time. It can take a number of months for us to gather the information from other agencies ourselves.

Delays in the final decision

Sometimes we need to wait for other financial assistance, compensation or insurance providers to make their final decisions before we can make ours.

We are a complementary scheme and must consider relevant payments you have already received or may still receive.

We will contact other relevant payment providers and ask them to confirm the final amount paid and what it was for. This helps to ensure you are not inadvertently being paid twice for the same expense.

Payments process

Special assistance payment

Special assistance is a recognition payment given to primary victims.

  • Category A ($10,000) includes crimes such as attempted murder, rape, incest against children under 16, and maintaining an unlawful relationship with a child under 16.
  • Category B ($3,500) includes, but is not limited to, other sexual offences, grievous bodily harm, burglary with violence, armed robbery, torture and kidnapping.
  • Category C ($2,000) includes, but is not limited to, serious assaults, other robberies, unlawful wounding, assault while armed resulting in bodily harm, and cruelty to children.
  • Category D ($1,000) includes, but is not limited to, acts of domestic and family violence not covered in a higher category, stalking, and deprivation of liberty.

If the victim is a child, this money will be held by the Public Trustee until they turn 18. Likewise, if the person has an administrator, the money will be paid to the administrator.

Distress payment

When a person dies from violence in Queensland, related victims (their close family members and financial dependants) can apply for a distress or dependency payment.

If the related person is a child, this money will be held by the Public Trustee until they turn 18. Likewise, if the person has an administrator, the money will be paid to the administrator.

Other payments

If your application is approved, we will help with any eligible out-of-pocket expenses outlined in the notice of decision. We may make payments to you, your service provider(s) or both.

If you have already paid some of your eligible expenses we can reimburse your nominated bank account or pay by cheque.

If we agree to pay for future eligible expenses, we will set aside a grant of assistance.

We will then pay your service provider directly or reimburse you, after the service has been provided.

For example, we may agree to pay for fortnightly counselling sessions with your chosen counsellor. Each time you visit they can send the invoice to us and we can pay them directly from the grant we set aside for you. The invoice needs to be in your name, not ours.

A service provider might ask to see the notice of decision when you attend your first appointment. They use this to confirm what we have agreed to pay for. Many service providers are then happy to email invoices directly to us.

Others prefer you to pay up front. If your service provider asks you to pay for approved expense up-front, send the receipt to us as soon as possible and we will reimburse your nominated bank account or send you a cheque.

Right to review

Our assessment team is very experienced and trained to understand the Victim of Crime Assistance Act 2009 and how to apply it. However, occasionally you might disagree with all or part of the decision we make.

At other times, you may have extra information you would like us to consider.

If you disagree with the decision we have made, you can ask us to review it.

If you have extra information, you can ask us to amend our decision.

Internal review

If asked, we will conduct an internal review. Your whole file will be given to a different assessor who has not been involved with your application, and they will re-assess it.

We will consider all available information and let you know the outcome of the internal review.

External review

If you disagree with our internal review decision, you can apply for an external review by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

QCAT will check our decision against the Victim of Crime Assistance Act 2009 and ensure we have applied the Act correctly. They will let you know the outcome of the review.

Find out more about what to do if your circumstances change after you apply.